They are insecure individuals who only feel significant when following someone of importance. They want to be part of the popular crowd and being your friend gives them that standing in society.
Some are more obvious than others and it takes us a while to see through their game but unless you are really naïve you pick up on it in time.
Usually, I’m pretty perceptive of people and I’m better in person because I’m an expert body language reader but online it gets a bit trickier. You don’t have eye contact to help you see if they are sincere or not.
The best way to find out if these people are truly your friends or not is to lose status. Either you lose your job, you no longer belong to a certain important group or you no longer hold that important title you once had. Suddenly these “friends” move on to the next leader.
I’ve seen this with cheerleaders. You have to try out every year and it can be grueling especially in competitive cities like the one I live in. I’m not giving the name but we have frequently been national champions.
As long as you make the team and are one of the girls you are popular. The guys all want to date you, every girl wants to be your friend and dress like you. But say next year you don’t make the team or worse, you do something to tarnish your reputation like get pregnant. Suddenly you hardly have any friends at all and you are lucky if anyone wants you to sit at their table at lunchtime.
That prom night date turned into a bit more than she bargained for.
No, this isn’t my story. Heck I was never a cheerleader. I couldn’t get my long legs over my head, at least not for an acrobatic stunt.
What do we do about these friends? How do we know if they are real friends?
In most cases you won’t be able to find out but if you have a ton of friends and you are in a popular position, a celebrity or political figure I can guarantee you that most of those people are not real friends. It’s kind of like friending people on a social networking site. Sure your status says you have a thousand friends but you don’t really know most of those people nor do they know you.
While you are at the top they will give you the shirt off their backs but if you lost everything and needed a place to stay or money. That’s when you find out who is really your friend.
Most people are aware of this in the back of their minds but yet they are still very shocked when it happens and the first words you hear are, “I thought they were my friends.”